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Carlsbad’s inaugural Halloween on Elm event a success

CARLSBAD — Parents and children donned their Halloween best on Oct. 30 for the city of Carlsbad’s first Halloween on Elm event in the Carlsbad Village.
Hundreds of kids dressed as princesses, pirates and other spooky characters strolled the Village streets with their parents and enjoyed the safe and family-friendly Halloween activities.
The city of Carlsbad; Carlsbad Educational Foundation; New Village Arts Theatre; Boys & Girls Clubs of Carlsbad; and Carlsbad Village Association sponsored the free event.
“This is great — it’s contained, easy and there’s a lot of stuff to keep the kids busy,” Vista resident Ashley Sullivan said. She brought sons Owen, 4, and Rory, 2, to the event.
Highlights of the afternoon included a Costume Contest and Parade, makeup demonstrations and the Boys & Girls Club’s Haunted House. Lines also formed for carnival games, hands-on art projects and fortune telling.
Carlsbad’s fire department drew a crowd with an off-duty fire truck, allowing pint-sized firefighters a chance to hop in the driver’s seat for a quick look around and a picture. Engineer Mike Van Bibber loved interacting with the community because “this truck belongs to the residents,” he said.
“Colton is so excited — he’s obsessed with fire trucks,” Liz Fratus said of her 22-month old son Colton, dressed in a firefighter costume. “He even has a fire truck bed, so this is great for him.”
In keeping with Halloween tradition, local merchants handed out candy to trick-or-treaters but quickly ran out, having underestimated the event’s large turnout.
“We had to go and get more candy, but it has been wonderful,” Intriguing owner Norma Hubble said. Hubble and employee Alexandra Roberts got into the Halloween spirit and dressed up to the delight of many trick-or-treaters that stopped by.
The city of Carlsbad’s many departments participated in the event, providing entertainment for the kids with a unique twist. The Utilities Department sponsored a toilet paper toss, while the Public Works Department crafted a giant spider with an “employee” in a reflective vest caught in its web — a great backdrop for spooky pictures.
Cici Porter, Valley Middle School’s band and a flash mob of people dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” entertained the masses. Concessions were provided by Boy Scout Troop 745, Carlsbad High School’s Choral Group and Flippin’ Pizza’s food truck.
While the event was primarily about the kids, it was also an opportunity for parents and other residents to get better acquainted with businesses in the Village.
“We’ve had a lot of parents come in and take a look around,” Hubble said. “They said that they would be back — that’s what this is all about.”